Life is full of surprises, and it has a funny way of springing things on you out of the blue. Good or bad, unexpected little surprises are all just part of the excitement of life. However, many of these things often have an impact financially, so whether it’s an unexpected pregnancy, a new job opportunity, the loss of your job, having an accident or getting sick, are you ready? Can you be prepared without turning into a paranoid wreck? And how can you stay positive while doing it?
First of all, there are some instances where you could and should be prepared for something likely to happen. If you live somewhere where flooding, storms, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes are common? If so, then you can plan for such a natural disaster. Have a look anywhere online, and if you search, you can find reports and evidence of the devastating effects these disasters can have. These disasters can also happen very suddenly with no warning signs meaning that having insurance in case of these events is a must. A decent emergency kit and five-day supply of food and water are also really recommended to have on hand in your home, car or office. An emergency kit doesn’t have to be anything large or elaborate, but being prepared in this way can make a difficult situation much easier to get through.
The most important thing you can do for yourself in the event of an unexpected event is to have a substantial emergency fund that you can access should something happen. Your emergency fund should ideally cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but if you are a single-income family, you might want to consider building an emergency fund of up to a year, which can provide security for you and your family. If you lose your job and have a hard time finding another one, suffer an unexpected illness or have an accident which leads to a gap in your earnings, then you will need something to fall back on, a safety net to put you at ease whilst you try and deal with whatever else is going on. Luckily, in many cases, if you’ve had an accident, you could be entitled to compensation which can ease the loss in earnings. You can find out more about this from a personal injury lawyer as they can advise you of the process and how long it might take to see any compensation, that way you can factor it into your plan.
Having this emergency fund allows you more peace of mind while you are dealing with other issues such as a job loss, illness or anything that might affect your income but it is also vital that you have adequate life insurance for your family or your spouse if you are married, and especially if you have children. Depending on your circumstances of course, if your partner doesn’t work or doesn’t earn enough to support the family without you, they will also have to deal with the loss as well as other things, so will need time off work. You and they need to know that they are cared for and make the whole thing as smooth as possible.
When the unexpected happens, it can be challenging to think clearly and not get caught up in the emotion surrounding the event. Make sure you take care of yourself as much as possible during these times and find ways to alleviate stress and calm yourself. Whether it’s taking long walks, drawing, or just spending time with family and friends, find the activities that will help you remain calm and centered so you can make the best decisions in difficult situations.
Also, remember to ask for help. Your family and friends will want to help but might not always know what to do. If there’s something they can do for you, whether it’s cooking, childcare even just a chat - let them know what it is they can do to help you. Professionally and personally, who do you have in your life who will be willing and able to help you if you need them? Is there a good number of people you can count on? Have you helped people yourself in the past when they have needed it too? It doesn’t have to be financially, but do you know people who can give you coaching, or counseling? Every person you know will be able to offer you something, somehow; some people will be good at providing practical help like stopping by your home to home to help out, and others will have something different to offer. Having a support system can be invaluable in an emergency so make sure you have yours there and use them.